Do not think me gentle

I wake late. Light is streaming through the back window. The storm of last night has subsided and given way to glorious morning sunshine. The pups hear me stir, I open the child gate for them to rush up the steep stairs and within seconds collapse into bed under the duvet. 


From the other room I collect my phone and read the news. I read two long articles, one about the Indian baby born in a bank, the other an analysis about American presidential hand holding and power play. Then, I check finances, and read up about some new small recent listings on the AIMs market ready for Monday opening. Over the past two weeks, through reducing time spent on social media, I estimate that I’ve made just over £500 by being more active with my portfolios. I think about the Guild who I spent Thursday night with, even my generation comment that they’d rather prioritise their time elsewhere. The older generations who have made fortunes in banking are even more scrupulous with their time. 

Andrew wakes, he sounds rough. Congested, full. 

We make coffee downstairs, let the pups out for a run through the assault course of the construction site in the back yard. It’s cold and they race inside after going about their business. 

I eat the other half of a papaya and bowl of sliced pineapple I prepared yesterday. I sip my coffee and moan about the TV. Our home is wonderful as it is. Infact I worry often about it increasing in size two fold. There’s something poetic in the simplicity of life constricted by physical limitations. It’s a quick walk down the lane in the cold morning. The sun is so low on the horizon and it’s like a beautiful filter on the world. After about twenty minutes we’re back home. I can’t help but hear the words of Wendell Berry’s poem “A Warning to my Readers” echoing through my mind. 

“Do not think me gentle

because I speak in praise

of gentleness, or elegant

because I honor the grace

that keeps this world. I am

a man crude as any,

gross of speech, intolerant,

stubborn, angry, full

of fits and furies. That I 

may have spoken well

at times, is not natural.

A wonder is what it is.” 

As I quickly change ready for our friends to arrive, I can’t help but think of the truth in his words. It’s all about perception. It’s the reason I chose to draw away from the insta celebrity driven consumerist platforms. To celebrate art, and reality. Not monetary returns for shilling products born out of greed and exploitation. 

I hear a roar of a car I’d quite like myself. Andrew has already run out of the house in excitement, I pull on boots and a jacket and follow. Hugging the orange aura of a gentle giant and a vivacious Cat. So so happy to see them, they’re some of the best people in the world and immense inspirations. 

Excitedly we talk through holidays and travel and the house and their house and the dogs and christmas and everything in a whirlwind. Then it’s into the cars to head over to the next town. En route things are slow, the normal 5minute journey is congested. We come to a standstill. Then cresting the hill I see lights and hear horns and see pedestrians along the roadside. It’s the annual Christmas Tractor Drive, advises Andrew. With my mouth wide open and fits of laughter I wave at the convoy of tractors passing. Then we see the lorries who have become a regular feature on our lane as they remove and deposit all sorts. I see Ashley, one of the drivers we have come to know, and I beep and flash my lights in a frenzy, we’re recording a video of this to send to our nephews, however I’ll need to mute the sound because on two consecutive occasions I swear. 

Half an hour later we arrive in town, hug the most eligible bachelor in town and we head out for lunch, the Cat is jet lagged and hungry. We find a spot at a regular bolt hole and order then talk, and make plans and scheme, there are wonderful plans on the horizon and to share moments and life with this lot is one hell of a gift. We chat about consumerism and environmental impacts and what we can do to mitigate. In that moment I miss my baby Giraffe so much. My heart aches a little as I think of her quite literally at the other end of the planet. I make a mental note to share this conversation with her in our next letter exchange. 

We leave early and head home ready to head out shopping with the builder. Getting home we give him a bell to confirm leave times, he says he can’t make it so we bundle the pups into the car for a long walk. 

In the hills we look down onto the commuter villages into the capital. The pups run free, bounding with joy. The views into the valley below are breathtaking, we stop and stare. I didn’t capture the moment, nor am I even aware of carrying a phone. “A wonder is what it is.”

I wait in the car with the pups while Andrew runs through the nearby supermarket picking up essentials “all the fruit please” and a few treats. 

Home we crack into a glass of box wine each. Still thinking ahead to interior design and furnishing, I open my laptop to This is Glamorous where I run through interior design inspiration from Contemporary Barcelona Minimalist Style to Maximalist Baroque Rococo Influence. I decide we need Linge Rosset Togo two seaters in navy and Ektorp Chaise day chairs, Dwell Rockers in White and Concha Garcia Zaera original artwork. 

The phone rings and it’s the builder, he asks if we’re in. We invite him around and two minutes later there’s a knock at the door. He tells about his long day and we plan the week ahead. The walls will be completed and the concrete groundwork in. We revisit the contract and issue a sectional payment. 

I finish the box wine and prepare for the week ahead by preparing meals and bowls of fruit ready for the morning. 

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Patricia SnookComment